Middle Eastern flavor is created from simple spice blends. Spices have been imported to the region from India and China, along the silk route, since 200BC, and have been used in the cuisine ever since. This particular blend is aromatic and fast to prepare. It can then be cooked on the grill or in the oven, making it adaptable to the time of year. Preparing the eggplant on the grill adds a layer of smokiness to the baba ganouj, which completes a deliciously healthy light supper
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WINE NOTE: The spicy rub calls for an off dry Riesling, as the Pul Biber in the rub will make the wine taste less sweet, making it easy drinking alongside these dishes. Pinot Gris is also a good wine to pair with this, being an aromatic fruity wine.
3lbs-4lbs / 1.5-2kg Whole Chicken
For the spice rub;
1 tbsp. Cumin seeds
2 tsp Ground coriander
1 tsp Cumin
6 Green cardamom pods, remove the seeds and then grind them with a spice grinder or pestle and mortar
1 tbsp. Pul Biber
1 tbsp. Dried Thyme
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
2 Garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp. Superfine or Caster sugar
3-4 tbsp. Olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to season
Spatchcock the chicken- how to video if needed https://youtu.be/UV8sAZkrExw
Mix the spice rub ingredients and rub all over the skin of the chicken. Place in a dish and cover with food wrap. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, but preferably over night.
Light the grill and move the coals to one side. Place the chicken over the side that does not have the coals and grill for around 35-40 minutes, until a temperature of 165F / 74C is reached with a meat thermometer.
Alternatively, you can oven cook by heating the oven to 450F / 230C / 210 Fan.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chicken on it, skin side up and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until a temperature of 165F / 74C is reached with a meat thermometer.
Rest the chicken for 10-20 minutes before serving.
SMOKEY BABA GANOUJ
1 Medium Eggplant / aubergine
2 Tbsp Tahini
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Ground coriander
1 Tsp Paprika
Pinch of salt
Slice the eggplant lengthways and place on the grill alongside the chicken, until starting to blacken. Leave to cool.
Blitz the eggplant in a food processor with the remaining ingredients.
Alternatively, pierce the eggplant several times and place whole eggplant on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 450F/ 230C for 1 hour 15 minutes (same temperature as the chicken).
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